It has been 3 months that I arrived here at the U of M and my job as a Fulbright FLTA has been both enjoyable and rewarding. Hereby I would like to encourage all undecided persons to take on such adventure with Fulbright…
First I should probably point out that I am a native speaker of French and yet, I was chosen to teach Dutch to American students in Minnesota. When I got the news, I was both overjoyed and stressed out; I was going to live in an incredible city and teach my third foreign language at a university level. What a challenge! This mixed feeling of fear-excitement changed into pure excitement as soon as I arrived at the U of M. My supervisor Jenneke Oosterhoff immediately explained what she expected from me. My first weeks here were a long introduction to the American teaching style, which reinsured me.
The university campus is also impressive by its size and the number of accommodations it offers. Most buildings are equipped with all sorts of High Tech devices and students seem happy to learn in such a beautiful and well-maintained environment! I share the grad students’ office in a recently renewed building. The dynamic and friendships between us makes it a real pleasure to go to work!
After a few weeks of class observations and lessons in American Studies, German and pedagogy, I was asked to take over the Dutch class and to help with the creation of pedagogic material. This is how I realized how much I love teaching and how rewarding it is to see your students’ skills improve.
My tasks as a FLTA have evolved along with my confidence in my teaching methods; I teach 50% of the beginners’ class, have tutorial hours and organize conversation tables in Dutch. Next semester, I will be in charge of most the Dutch classes since my supervisor will be away from the U. I don’t know how it is going to be like, but I can’t wait to face that new challenge!
Being a Fulbright FLTA is perfect to broaden my teaching background and to improve my English, my Dutch as well as my Spanish and German since I have the chance to be both an instructor and a student at the U!
— Emilie Van Leemput